January is National Mentoring Month, and this year Citizens For Safe Schools is celebrating the annual campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults.
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Statistics overwhelmingly support the tremendous outcomes a mentor provides a youth:
Nationally, youth with a mentor are:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
- 90% are interested in becoming a mentor themselves.
- 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.
Youth in Citizens For Safe Schools’ ‘Kids In The Middle’ mentoring program are:
- 2x more likely to plan for their future
- 3x less likely to commit an act of violence or delinquency
- 6x less likely to re-offend for those with existing delinquency histories
- Improving grades, attendance, and graduation rates
Yet, the same research shows that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. In our community, Citizens For Safe Schools maintains close partnership with school counselors to identify children who would benefit from having a mentor. The need is great, but the potential for life changing impact is far greater. Meet two youth waiting to be matched now:
Dean is 10 and goes to Henley Elementary School. He says “I want to be a sports trainer or pilot when I grow up and would love to play in the NFL. I’d like a mentor who wants to play games.” His counselor comments “Dean is being raised by a single Mother and could greatly benefit from having a strong and positive male role model in his life. He is teased by peers, and needs a friend to uplift him and reinforce his positive qualities.”
Annie is 12 and goes to Chiloquin Elementary School. She says “I like jogging, bike riding, playing board games, doing community service, watching movies, going into nature and shopping. I want to learn to be successful in school and I would really like someone I can talk to.” Her counselor comments “Annie has lots of stressors in her life; lots of inconsistency and chaos. It would be good for her to have a consistent person to talk to.”
National Mentoring Month is the time of year where engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor is highest. You can help unite our community in the effort to support Klamath Youth by adding your voice to the mentoring movement. If you have mentored, currently mentor, or have been mentored by someone who changed your life, please share your favorite memories, photos, and videos with your friends and followers to spread the power of mentoring and inspire new volunteers with the hashtags #MentorIRL and #CitizensForSafeSchools
We encourage anyone interested in going beyond digital engagement to connect with us and get involved ‘in real life’. Our ‘Kids in the Middle’ mentoring program is actively recruiting new volunteers to the cause. Please call 541-882-3198 or e-mail Citizens for Safe Schools at firstname.lastname@example.org.